Arkansas’ electric cooperatives recently announced the results of a study examining the economic contributions that the state’s electric cooperatives have made within communities across the state from 2012 through 2016.
 
The study quantified the economic impact that electric cooperatives have on Arkansas and more specifically, on towns and communities where the cooperatives serve, according to J.D. Lowery, manager of economic development for the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas.
 
“The study clearly illustrates that the electric cooperatives in Arkansas are committed to work for the growth and continued development of their communities,” Lowery said. “This commitment guides cooperatives in helping communities create and sustain jobs, as well as work to improve life for the communities’ residents. It’s simply what cooperatives are all about.”
 
Lowery said that the cooperatives have been economic drivers in rural Arkansas since their inception 70 years ago. However, this study provides a more exact understanding of the quantitative and qualitative contributions made by the cooperatives.
 
Results of the study showed that from 2012 to 2016, state’s electric cooperatives:
Had a $23 billion impact on employment and infrastructure spending;
Contributed more than $8.8 billion to the gross state product;
Supported about 28,000 jobs through infrastructure investment;
Paid $1.9 billion in state and local taxes;
Directly employed approximately 2,000 Arkansans;
Served more than 1.2 million Arkansans;
Contributed more than $5.3 million to philanthropies;
Returned $131 million in direct payments to members through capital patronage dividends; and
Maintained more than 75,000 miles of power lines.
 
The study, conducted by Boyette Strategic Advisors of Little Rock, can be viewed at: http://www.wearearkansas.com/electric-cooperatives-of-arkansas/about/2012-2016-impact-analysis.